India moves diplomat in US arrest row to UN mission: reports

NEW DELHI (AFP) - India has transferred a diplomat at the centre of a political row with the United States to its United Nations mission in New York to give her full diplomatic immunity, local media reported on Wednesday.

The transfer of deputy consular general Devyani Khobragade to the UN Permanent Mission came after Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid pledged to "restore the dignity" of the diplomat who was strip-searched during her 48-hour detention in New York last week.

"To ensure diplomatic immunity to Devyani, India has shifted her to the United Nations Permanent Mission in New York," The Times of India and other media reported.

Indian foreign ministry officials were not immediately available to comment on the reports.

The row was triggered by the arrest last week of Dr Khobragade, 39, on charges of visa fraud and making false statements about how much she paid her maid, an Indian national.

Dr Khobragade is alleged to have paid her maid just US$3.31 (S$4.17) an hour despite signing a contract to pay her three times that amount.